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The book recounts the contemporary effects of Joseph Stalin's public relations campaign in the aftermath of the assassination of rival Sergei Kirov. "It bids fair to take its place beside the works of Laurence Sterne and Henry Adams," wrote the American philosopher Sidney Hook, "… but it is far richer in scope and more gripping in content." Eugene Lyons, author of the pioneering 1937 work Assignment in Utopia, described the book as "uniquely revealing," while...
Topics: communism, soviet union, stalin, russia
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Feb 9, 2016 Nirad Chaundhuri
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The first volume of Chaudhuri's memoirs, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian , 1951, met with lavish praise ("the one great book to have come out of the Indo-English encounter"V. S. Naipaul), general admiration and some harsh criticism, particularly from Indian nationalists. This second volume, almost 1000 pages long, perhaps surpasses it, in the depth, range and authority of its socio-historical commentary and the pungency of its language. Chaudhuri's fundamental thesis is that...
Topic: india
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Feb 9, 2016 E.N. Williams
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Frederick the Great declared that there were seven major powers in Europe - Holland, Spain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Britain. Taking each power in turn, E.N. Williams examines its fundamental strengths and weaknesses.
Topic: european history
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Feb 9, 2016 Roberts, Stephen
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This book is written primarily for the man-in-the-street who wishes to have some idea of the German experiment. It may best be explained by a personal note. Most of my work for the last twenty years has been concerned with contemporary history, and I spent most of the study-leave which the University of Sydney granted me (November 1935 to March 1937) in Germany and neighbouring countries. My main aim was to sum up the New Germany without any prejudice (except that my general approach was that...
Topics: nazism, hitler
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Feb 9, 2016 William Woehrlin
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Out of the Depth is permeated with philosophical themes and literary and apocalyptic illusions that derived from the Russian religious revival of the early twentieth century.
Topics: russian revolution, soviet history
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Feb 9, 2016 F. Yeats-Brown
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Major Francis Yeats-Brown belonged to what was probably the last generation of "old-breed" British conservatives: The sort that believed in the Empire, the peculiarly English-gentry variant of noblesse oblige, and the free nation-state (as opposed to ideologically motivated transnational alliances) as the basis for peace, order, and sanity in Europe. As such, many of his views are not what modern-day liberals (or the liberals of his own day, come that) would consider "politically...
Topics: nazism, hitler
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Feb 9, 2016 HG Wells
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I looked up this book initially to sell the copy I have, then upon seeing how many for sale there were coupled with the sales rank, I wondered what would the book be like? H.G. Wells is known to be a great storyteller, although I am not personally fond of his works. And an autobiography? I am not fond of these either; but I felt drawn to open the book. Once there, I was sucked in, compelled to read the next paragraph, and then the next page, flowing into the next chapter. When I cought a breath...
Topic: british history
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Feb 9, 2016 Evelyn Waugh
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This is a political book; the sketch of a foreign country where I spent a day or so under two months; of a country which has already provoked a huge number of books, many of them by residents of life-long experience.
Topic: mexico
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Feb 9, 2016 Evelyn Waugh
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"We are Progress and the New Age. Nothing can stand in our way." When Oxford-educated Emperor Seth succeeds to the throne of the African state of Azania, he has a tough job on his hands. His subjects are ill-informed and unruly, and corruption, double-dealing, and bloodshed are rife. However, with the aid of Minister of Modernization Basil Seal, Seth plans to introduce his people to the civilized ways of the west-but will it be as simple as that? Profound hilarity ensues from the...
Topic: fiction
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Feb 9, 2016 Lyman Van Slyke
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The official State Department report on why the Chinese Nationalists were losing to Mao, that tried to absolve the State Department of blame.
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Topics: china, communism, american history
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Feb 9, 2016 Vicente, Lecura
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Personal letters, speeches and other writings from the South American revolutionary, Simon Bolivar
Topic: simon bolivar
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Feb 9, 2016 Freda Utley
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Surely one of the most grievously forgotten authors of the 20th century is Freda Utley. In the immortal words of Rutger Hauer, Utley "saw things... you people wouldn't believe" - she moved to Moscow as a Communist true believer in the 1930s, lost her husband to the Gulag, and never remarried. Her honesty and fearlessness did not make her popular, especially when she spoke out against American abuses in the occupation of Germany, or against Maoism 40 years before it was fashionable. ...
Topic: communism
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Feb 9, 2016 Dr. Richard C. Thornton Ph.D
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Odd Man Out  is a novel assessment of the motives and strategies of Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong as they struggled to maneuver their countries into positions of advantage in the postwar world. Their successes and failures resulted in the catastrophic event that globalized the Cold War ---the Korean War. Based on recently released secret documents, Richard Thornton puts the reader inside the American, Soviet and Chinese decision-making processes during these earth-shaking events,...
Topics: Korean War, communism
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Feb 9, 2016 Kent H Steffgen
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This is an insider’s account of California politics from the days of the young, fiery Governor Reagan, who talked such a good line about the hippies.
Topic: Ronald Reagan
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Feb 9, 2016 Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn
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Alexander Solzhenitsyn edited a powerful book that dramatically impacted my life in my thinking about how nations are transformed. While it was published in 1974 (renewed in 1981) and obviously is now out of print, for several of the essays, this book is worth searching for. It should be noted that Solzhenitsyn is much more well thought of in the West than in Russia today. Even though he returned to live in Moscow, Russians generally feel he left the country to profit on his message, so he is...
Topic: soviet history
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Feb 9, 2016 Robert Welch
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This book was considered one of the most controversial non-religious manuscripts of its day. The author felt it was too "hot" for publication in 1956, when Eisenhower was a very popular president. A few copies circulated among some of Robert Welch's friends, and some updates were made in the next few years. The national press "uncovered" a copy after Welch's new organization, The John Birch Society, proved to be a growing threat to the status quo. Hostile reviews began...
Topic: dwight eisenhower
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Feb 9, 2016 James Burnham
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It is scandalous that this book should be out of print, for it is without a doubt the best primer on political science ever written. If you are going to read only one book on politics, this should be it. Burnham is no ideologue with an axe to grind. He merely seeks to describe how politics works in the real world of fact. In pursuit of this aim, he discusses five of the most scientifically rigorous of all political thinkers: Machiavelli, Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Robert Michels, and...
Topics: political theory, political philosophy
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Feb 9, 2016 Robert Welch
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Robert Welch (1899-1985) retired from his executive position in his brother's candy manufacturing business to devote his full attention to anti-communism; in 1958, he called eleven other men (including Revilio Oliver, industrialist Fred Koch, and Ezra Taft Benson---who later became the President of the Mormon Church) to attend a 2-day presentation---where he read this 1958 document---and proposed the formation of the John Birch Society, whose motto is, "Less government, more...
Topic: communism
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Feb 9, 2016 Friedrich Reck
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Friedrich Reck might seem an unlikely rebel against Nazism. Not just a conservative but a rock-ribbed reactionary, he played the part of a landed gentleman, deplored democracy, and rejected the modern world outright. To Reck the Nazis were ruthless revolutionaries in Gothic drag, and helpless as he was to counter the spell they had cast on the German people, he felt compelled to record the corruptions of their rule. The result is less a diary than a sequence of stark and astonishing snapshots...
Topic: nazism
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Feb 9, 2016 Joachim Remak
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This is an easily read synopsis of the origins of WW I. The issues, the players, the national interests, the faulty information and the unwise judgment of world leaders are all crystal clear in this timeless work. Remarkably, many of the issues are present today in the world as America grapples with an uncertain future in a world of conflict.
Topic: world war i
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Feb 9, 2016 Carl Oglesby
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This is the first of several high-level political analyses motivated by a need to better understand the politics that led to both the JFK assassination and the Nixon Watergate Affair. It deploys as the primary theoretical model, C. Wright Mills "Theory of the Power Elite" and the framework in Carroll Quigleys book "Tragedy and Hope." With these tools, Carl Oglesby posits an interesting thesis: that JFKs assassination, instead of being a random act by a lone nut was in fact a...
Topic: watergate
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Feb 9, 2016 Andrei Navrozov
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At the height of the era of rhetorical antagonism known as the Cold War, a young man, son and grandson of Russian writers, crossed the border to the West. He had never attended Soviet school and spent his childhood reading Xenophon in the fabulous seclusion of a summer enclave near Moscow, where Stalin's henchmen, like Andrei Gromyko, had their villas. Escape to freedom was an obsessive dream, as it had been his father's and grandfather's. What would he find in New York and London, when this...
Topic: communism
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Feb 9, 2016 Yuri Modin and Jean-Charles Deniau
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Yuri Modin writes a fascinating account of his five Cambridge 'friends.' As a young KGB officer, proficient in English, he had studied all their files, and later under diplomatic cover, he dealt personally with three of them as agents in London from 1948-51. Written in an engaging manner, the book presents the reader with a rare glimpse into the life of a KGB officer on the job, as it were, handling agents in what was then enemy territory. Furthermore, Modin offers his readers candid portraits...
Topics: british history, communism, soviet union
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Feb 9, 2016 Victor Lasky
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The claim that "a good, fair impartial investigation" was to be held during the Watergate hearings on Nixon's role in the break-in and subsequent cover-up never materialized. Instead, the Senatorial committee provided TV melodrama. This well documented book permits comparisons of past political behavior with the tricky manuevering of todays D.C. Elite. Only the names change. In Washington one is not permitted to be above the fray. The techniques and methods of yesteryear are still...
Topics: american history, watergate, nixon
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Feb 9, 2016 Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev
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A biography of six men who carried out Stalin's bloody policies -- Molotov, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Voroshilov, Malinkov and Suslov.
Topics: soviet union, stalin
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Sisley Huddleston was an English journalist who spent most of his adult life in France. He finally took French citizenship during the country's darkest hour. This was partly a matter of convenience (being French rather than English was a decided advantage in 1942) and partly an expression of love and loyalty. Written soon after the war, this first-hand account is both grimmer and less melodramatic than most recent histories of Vichy. The Petain era was a pathetic series of weak, idealistic...
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Topics: world war ii, vichy france, french history
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There are very few published writings by those that sat in positions of power during the period leading up to and during the Second World War that are of this personal and telling nature. This is the great difference between Ciano's Diary and the writing of the defeated or victorious from this time. Ciano was not looking back and writing in an attempt to absolve himself of his role nor was he allowing the glow of victory to taint his recollection of events. These sometimes seemingly shallow...
Topic: world war ii
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Professor Moses Hadas, one of the preeminent classicists of the mid 20th century, prepared this book. It is prepared, rather than written by Professor Hadas, because for the most part it is a compilation of excerpts from classic Latin sources, such as Tactitus and Suetonius, with short bridging paragraphs by professor Hadas. This approach has the benefit of providing the English translation of the source, rather than a historian's interpretation of the source. However, the tradeoff is a lack of...
Topic: rome
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Feb 9, 2016 Edgar Lee Masters
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There is, perhaps, no better tour guide on an anti-Lincoln journey than Masters. Masters’ Lincoln is the first truly modern statesman (that is to say a wonderful politician, but not an actual statesman in the sense that he’s not leader and doesn’t have a governing philosophy). Lincoln lacks vision, conviction and any philosophical foundation. He says what needs to be said to please the crowd he’s in front of and what he says changes to fit the crowd. He has no fixed principles and no...
Topic: abraham lincoln
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Feb 8, 2016 Elizabeth Bentley
texts
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Ms Bentley was an Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member who was an active Soviet spy for most of a decade. Her story is perhaps a micro-version of the entire relationship between American Communism (aka progressivism) and the Soviet variety. Many Americans joined the CPUSA and many spied for the Soviets. Many (if not all) also eventually broke with the Soviets. Obviously, these people were not all identical. They did not all come from the same background. However, when one reads their memoirs, one...
Topics: mcarthyism, communism
Folkscanomy: A Library of Books
Feb 8, 2016 Nikolai Berdiaev
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Vekhi -- also known under the English title Landmarks or Signposts -- is a collection of essays first published in Moscow in 1909. Writing from various points of view, the authors reflect the experience of Russia's failed 1905 revolution-a failure to be blamed not only on the repressive forces of the autocracy but also on the intellectual bankruptcy of the intelligentsia and the Russian nation's inability to use freedom constructively. They saw as their task the construction of the moral,...
Topics: soviet history, russia, russian 1905 revolution
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Feb 8, 2016 Alexander, Grand Duke Of Russia
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The sequel to Once A Grand Duke, in which Grand Duke Alexander Mikailovich chronicles the times after the fall of the Romanovs.
Topics: russia, european history
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Feb 8, 2016 Nirad Chaundhuri
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The first volume of Chaudhuri's memoirs, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian , 1951, met with lavish praise ("the one great book to have come out of the Indo-English encounter"V. S. Naipaul), general admiration and some harsh criticism, particularly from Indian nationalists. This second volume, almost 1000 pages long, perhaps surpasses it, in the depth, range and authority of its socio-historical commentary and the pungency of its language. Chaudhuri's fundamental thesis is that...
Topics: India, colonialism
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Feb 8, 2016 Cathy Young
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I purchased this book out of curiosity. How could someone named Cathy Young have grown up in the Soviet Union? Well, it turns out that she was born Ekatarina Jung and her name was adapted to American tastes. The book gave a very vivid picture of a young Jewish girl/adolescent encountering the growing intrusion of the Soviet system into every aspect of her moral/intellectual life. Young gives vivid examples of the moral compromises she was compelled to make to prevent severe reprisals on herself...
Topics: soviet history, communism
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Feb 8, 2016 George Ball
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This is a wonderful book by one of the finest American citizens of the 20th Century. From his work in analyzing the effectiveness of bombing campaigns in World War II, through his observations on Stevenson, Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey, Carter (all of which he knew and served), as well as the opposition (especially Nixon), Ball's observations are essential to anyone who seeks to understand America and the world at mid and late 20th century. Especially telling is his principled opposition to the...
Topics: american history, world war ii
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Feb 8, 2016 Albert Beveridge
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Albert J. Beveridge turned to the writing of history after the frustration of his ambitions to make history.  After much soul-searching and testing of the political waters, he decided to make a bid for the Republican nomination for United States Senate in the 1922 primary against the incumbent Harry S. New. By that time, Beveridge had himself moved toward Marshall politically—attacking union "despotism," investment-destroying soak-the-rich taxes, and "bureaucratic...
Topics: Abraham Lincoln, biography
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Jan 30, 2016 Luigi Barzini
texts
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I found this at a local used bookstore and bought it on a whim. It is an ambitious but breezy analysis of the peoples and pasts of the nascent European Union, and how their individual national identities have formed the way they respond to one another and to the rest of the world. What makes this book especially interesting is that it was written back in the early 80s, before the Euro and really before the European Union itself was thought a likely reality, so the author approaches the...
Topic: european history
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This book is a delight to read, and throws light on the Supreme Court in the momentous court year of 1936-37 when the Court was saved by Justice Roberts breaking away from the conservative wing of the Court and upholding New Deal laws which, if they had been held unconstitutional, might well have resulted in changes to the Supreme Court such as FDR had requested. The account by John Knox of how he came to be Justice McReynolds' law clerk and the odd life had to lead as such clerk is of much...
Topics: american history, fdr, new deal
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Jan 30, 2016 BH Liddell Hart
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The German Generals who survived Hitler's Reich talk over World War II with Capt. Liddell Hart, noted British miltary strategist and writer. They speak as professional soldiers to a man they know and respect. For the first time, answers are revealed to many questions raised during the war. Was Hitler the genius of strategy he seemed to be at first? Why did his Generals never overthrow him? Why did Hitler allow the Dunkirk evacuation? Current interest, of course, focuses on the German Generals'...
Topics: world war ii, european history, german history, nazism
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Jan 30, 2016 Hilaire Du Berrier
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CIA/State Dept. Cold War liberals and anti-Communist social democrats dominated the US foreign policy establishment in 1954.They thought the existing indigenous elite in Vietnam was too traditionalist and too corrupt to bring about the (non-Communist) social revolution they assumed Vietnam needed. So they picked Diem , a man with impeccable anti-colonialist, anti-French credentials and a brother in the anti-communist wing of the international labor movement. It also didn't hurt that he was one...
Topic: vietnam war
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Jan 30, 2016 Luigi Barzini
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I have read several books by Barzini and greatly admire his work. He is insightful, literate, thought-provoking, and still remains accessible. 'O America' is one of my favourite books by him. The prose is often poetic in its ability to convey the sights, sounds, smells, mores, prejudices, hopes, dreams and emotions of a specific time and place, in both America and the life of a young immigrant. Through Barzini's eyes, we see a snapshot of an America that is in our past. The book is at times...
Topic: american history
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Jan 30, 2016 Fritz Fischer
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Germany's Aims in the First World War  (German title: Griff nach der Weltmacht: Die Kriegzielpolitik des kaiserlichen Deutschland 1914–1918) is a book by German Historian  Fritz Fischer . It is one of the leading contributions to historical analysis of the  Causes of World War I , and along with this work  War of Illusions   (Krieg der Illusionen)  gave rise to the "Fischer Thesis" on the causes of the war. The title translates as "Grab for World Power"  or...
Topics: world war i, european history
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Jan 30, 2016 Guillaume Lorris
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The  Roman de la Rose  ( French:  [ʁɔmɑ̃ də la ʁoz] ; "Romance of the Rose"), is a  medieval   French   poem  styled as an  allegorical dream vision . It is a notable instance of  courtly literature . The work's stated purpose is to both entertain and to teach others about the Art of Love. At various times in the poem, the "Rose" of the title is seen as the name of the lady, and as a symbol of female sexuality  in general. Likewise, the other characters'...
Topic: european history
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Jan 30, 2016 Graham Greene
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Reading The Lawless Roads reminded me of a comment from Albert Camus from his notebooks: 'What gives value to travel is its fear. It is the fact that when we are so far from our own country we are siezed by a vague fear, and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits'. This is Graham Greene in Mexico. Travelling through the dry, dusty, mosquito and tick fly riven states of Southern Mexico in the 1930s, a period when the Catholic Church was under severe persecution from the...
Topic: mexico
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Jan 30, 2016 Malcolm Muggeridge
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It is almost sixteen years since the death of this great writer, broadcaster, actor, soldier-spy and latterly Christian apologist and his voice is greatly missed, particularly at this time with so many major and controversial issues dominating the news agenda. Because love him or loathe him, Muggeridge always had a unique, and often tangental, view to offer on the significant events of the day. Without doubt, Chronicles was his greatest work and should be compulsory reading for anyone learning...
Topics: soviet union, media
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Jan 30, 2016 Yevgeny Zamyatin
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This illumination from Yevgeny Zamyatin will help you discover and read good literature that brims your heart and soul with pleasure. It shoots its rays into the dark recesses of the human heart, into the dark energy of cosmic space and into the very heart of primordial energy itself. The introduction by Alex Shane lets you know right at the outset that you will be cozying up to a mind that has conquered Mount Everest and from that vantage is reporting on shadows and shifting brilliancies,...
Topics: soviet union, communism
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Jan 30, 2016 Stefan Zweig
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Taking up his pen as a knight a lance, Sebastian Castellio was aware that a purely spiritual attack upon a dictatorship in the panoply of material armour would prove ineffectual, and that he was, therefore, fighting for a lost cause. How could an unarmed man, a solitary, expect to vanquish Calvin, who was backed by thousands of soul-slaves, and equipped with all the powers of the State? A master of the art of organization, Calvin had been able to transform a whole city, a whole State, whose...
Topics: calvinism, reformation
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Jan 30, 2016 Erna Fergusson
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A travel book rather than a guide book, but with so little available on Guatemala, a growing ""mecca"" of travellers, this should fill a real need. A definitely interesting account of the country, coast and hill towns, of the people, arts, industries, historical background, as seen by a visitor who lived in hotels, pensions, private homes, and covered as much ground as limited travel facilities permitted. Economic and social aspects cursorily handled.
Topics: latin america, united fruit company
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Jan 30, 2016 Jean Monnet
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Starting life as the net-in-line to a prosperous Cognac producer, his extensive European connections and business skills led Jean Monnet to be named as a prime European liason to the US during WWII. His sole mission was to secure critical supplies for waging the war against the Nazis. Chasing item after crucial item, he learned and became fascinated with the workings of a true free market economy. After the war he set out on a single minded mission to create the United States of Europe out of...
Topic: europe
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Jan 24, 2016 Elie Kedourie
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This is Elie Kedourie's classic study of the Middle East in modern times. In analyzing British failures in the region during the zenith of their power and influence, Mr. Kedourie attributes much of Britain's faulty and disastrous handling of Middle East problems to what he calls "the Chatham House version." It was a view of Middle Eastern history and politics propounded and propagated in the various publications of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (known popularly as...
Topics: middle east, arabia, history
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Jan 24, 2016 Evelyn Waugh
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In Robbery Under Law, subtitled 'The Mexican Object Lesson', Waugh presents a profoundly unpeaceful Mexican situation as a cautionary tale in which a once great civilisation - greater than the United States at the turn of the twentieth century - has succumbed, within the space of a single generation, to barbarism.
Topics: mexico, mexican history
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Jan 24, 2016 Elizabeth Bentley
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Ms Bentley was an Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member who was an active Soviet spy for most of a decade. Her story is perhaps a micro-version of the entire relationship between American Communism (aka progressivism) and the Soviet variety. Many Americans joined the CPUSA and many spied for the Soviets. Many (if not all) also eventually broke with the Soviets. Obviously, these people were not all identical. They did not all come from the same background. However, when one reads their memoirs, one...
Topics: communism, mccarthy, red scare
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Jan 23, 2016 Walter Millis
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Walter Millis worked mainly as a newspaperman for the New York Herald Tribune, and wrote books about current affairs, especially world conflicts. In this book he looks at the United States from the time war was declared in Europe in 1914 up until the time the US got involved in the fighting herself. He doesn't much like what he sees. It is a throughly revisionist history. It makes no bones about its main thesis: that the participation of the U.S. in the First World War was a mistake; that we...
Topics: world war i, great war, american history
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Nov 12, 2015 Alexander Romanov
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Perhaps the best memoir of one of the last absolutist monarchies. This book is the memoirs of Gand Duke Alexander of Russia, who tells an honest, heartfelt, insider account of the last two decades of the Romanov Dynasty, before it fell to the revolution.
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Topics: russia, history, romanovs, monarchy